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Wole Soyinka Announces The 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlist

Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka announced the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing Shortlist.


The shortlist for The Caine Prize for African Writing was announced yesterday by Nobel Prize Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka during the opening ceremonies of the UNESCO World Book Capital festival in Port Harcourt. Established in 2000 in order to reflect the contemporary development of African storytelling, The Caine Prize focuses on the short stories of African writers whose work has been published in English. Past winners of the £10,000 prize include Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainana, Zimbabwe's NoViolet Bulawayo, and Nigeria's Rotimi Babatunde

The writers shortlisted for 2014 are Diane Awerbuck (South Africa) for "Phosphorecence"; Efemia Chela (Ghana/Zambia) for "Chicken"; Tendai Huchu (Zimbabwe) for "The Intervention"; Billy Kahora (Kenya) for "The Gorilla's Apprentice" and Okwiri Oduor (Kenya) for "My Father's Head". To mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Caine Prize, each shortlisted writer will also receive a £500 award. Culled from a record 140 stories from 17 African countries, this year's selection was described by Caine Prize Chair of Judges Jackie Kay MBE as "compelling, lyrical, thought-provoking and engaging."

The winner of the 2014 Caine Prize will be announced at an award dinner on July 14th at Oxford University's Bodleian Library. In addition to the monetary prize, he or she will be offered the opportunity to take up a month’s residence at Georgetown University as a Writer-in-Residence at the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice. The winner will also be invited to take part in the Open Book Festival in Cape Town in September 2014, the StorymojaHay Festival in Nairobi and Nigeria's Ake Festival.

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7 Gengetone Acts You Need to Check Out

The streets speak gengetone: Kenya's gengetone sound is reverberating across East Africa and the world, get to know its main purveyors.

Sailors' "Wamlambez!"Wamlambez!" which roughly translates to "those who lick," is the cry the reverberated round the world, pushing the gengetone sound to the global stage. The response "wamnyonyez" roughly translates to "those who suck" and that should tell you all you need to know about the genre.

Known for its lewd lyrics and repetitive (often call and response) hooks, gengetone makes no apologies for belonging to the streets. First of all, most artists that create gengetone are grouped into bands with a few outliers like Zzero Sufuri riding solo. The songs themselves often feature a multiplicity of voices with screams and crowds coming through as ad libs, adding to this idea that this is definitely "outside" music.

Listening to Odi wa Muranga play with his vocal on the track "Thao" it's easy to think that this is the first, but gengetone fits snuggly in a history of sheng rap based on the kapuka style beat. Kapuka is onomatopoeically named, the beats have that repetitive drum-hat-drum skip that sounds like pu-ka-pu-ka-pu. Artists like Nonini were asking women to come over using this riff long before Ochungulo family told them to stay home if they aren't willing to give it up.

Here's seven gengetone groups worth listening to.

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